Long Covid diet: The ‘4Ks’ may help prevent it – Professor Spector’s advice

Fitness & Health:

The leader of the ZOE COVID Study, Tim Spector, has shared easy ways to boost immunity that may even help to avoid long Covid. The professor appeared on ITV’s This Morning to talk about the role diet plays in coronavirus.

Mr Spector said: “If we can focus on our gut health…gut microbiome is really crucial.

“We know from Covid now that your gut health is crucial for your immune system.”

He explained that to improve our immunity, we need to improve our gut health and that is done through a “high-quality diet”.


“Feeding it the right things and avoiding feeding it bad things, that’s what made the difference to getting a long Covid,” the professor added.

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One thing you can do to improve your gut health is to regularly eat fermented food, according to Mr Spector.

Many might opt for dairy alternatives like yoghurt and cheese, but the expert recommended something else.

He noted: “The other fermented foods that many people don’t know about are what I call the four Ks.”

These include:

  • Kefir (fermented milk)
  • Kombucha (fermented tea)
  • Kimchi (Korean spicy cabbage)
  • Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage).
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Mr Spector said: “If you add them, just small shots every day, that really is a powerful enhancer of your microbes.

“And all of these things are going to be cheaper, actually, than taking multivitamins every day of your life.”

On the topic of supplements, the professor stressed that getting vitamins and nutrients from food is more important than taking pills.

He explained: “99 percent were proven not to work…get rid of that, out of the bathroom cabinet, you’ll clear a lot of space.

Apart from fermented foods, the professor also recommended increasing the amount of various plants in your diet.

“Most things are plants, we think oh gosh, [but] it’s not just kale. It’s nuts and seeds, [they] are plants, herbs are plants.

“If you have 30 a week that gives your microbes the optimal health.”

He explained that plants are sometimes hidden so you can get creative with it, for example, buying bread with grains or sprinkling some nuts over your yoghurt in the morning.

Mr Spector also warned that ultra-processed foods are linked to suffering from long Covid.

He concluded that a healthy diet may not protect you from catching the virus altogether, but it could have an impact on the severity and whether you develop long Covid.

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